As someone who runs several websites, I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I spend dealing with comment spam. While most of it gets swept up by the invaluable Akismet plug-in, there are plenty of comments that seem to trickle through.
While some comment spammers are creative and/or thoughtful (making it kind of apparent that they might have at least read your article’s title) there are plenty of comment spammers that just need to go away and never return. Obviously, that’s who I’ve directed this post towards.
So without further ado, here are the 10 Commandments of Being a Courteous Comment Spammer:
- THOU SHALL NOT USE BOTS OR PROGRAMS. If you’re going to spam someone’s site you should at least have the common courtesy to do it in person. Help bump up the site’s traffic stats by making an appearance on the site, leave your comment and then be on your merry little way.
- THOU SHALL NOT LEAVE THE SITE UNTIL YOU’VE PAID YOUR TITHE. Essentially you’re wasting the site admin’s time by forcing them to read your comment and decide whether or not they’re going to let you comment spam. Also, don’t forget the fact that you’re trying to steal traffic from their site, so it seems to me that you can help compensate the site admin for their time and your traffic thievery by clicking on something that will make them a bit of money. Now, in the spirit of not being fraudulent, I’m going to assume that you’re going to click on an advertising link that actually interests you.
- THOU SHALL NOT POST IRRELEVANT COMMENTS. Seriously, at least pretend that you’re trying to add something of value. Don’t just post something that says “great site” or “I definitely agree.” God forbid you actually post something that sounds smart. Who knows, maybe if you post something that adds to the article or post you’ll actually generate good traffic leads.
- THOU SHALL NOT BAR OTHER COMMENT SPAMMERS FROM COMMENT SPAMMING YOU. I guess this is sort of along the same lines of “judge not lest ye be judged.” So, with that in mind, if someone allows you to comment spam their site, give a dog a bone should they choose to return the “favor” and hit you back.
- THOU SHALL NOT INCLUDE MORE THAN ONE LINK TO YOUR SITE(S). There’s no need for you to leave even three or four links in your comment spam. All you get is the little URL box. One and done.
- THOU SHALL NOT LEAVE MULTIPLE SPAM COMMENTS. Again, one and done, that’s all you get. The only exception would be if you were posting a legit follow up to someone else’s comment. Other than that, you’re cut off.
- THOU SHALL NOT EMAIL THE SITE ADMIN UPON FINDING OUT YOUR COMMENT SPAM HAS BEEN REJECTED OR DELETED. Seriously, don’t waste time with a “hey, I noticed my comment isn’t showing up on your site” email. It was probably deleted for a reason; that reason being the site admin didn’t appreciate your comment spam. Chances are a follow up isn’t necessary.
- THOU SHALL NOT COMMENT SPAM THE SAME SITES EACH AND EVERY DAY. Come up with some sort of site rotation so that you’re not constantly hitting up the same sites over and over. You’re probably far more likely to find a forgiving site admin if you comment spam once every two weeks as opposed to twice a day.
- THOU SHALL NOT INCLUDE IRRELEVANT LINKS IN YOUR COMMENT SPAM. Let’s say you’re trying to comment spam a site that deals with gardening – do you really think it’s worth it to try and sneak in some comment spam if you’re linking to your car insurance site? Probably not. Now, if you’re linking to your gardening tools site, that’s a completely different story.
- THOU SHALL ASK FOR A RECIPROCAL LINK BEFORE COMMENT SPAMMING. Being included in someone’s blog roll will probably generate as much traffic as comment spamming and it’s far less annoying. Try going this route first before you waste everyone’s time.
While following these commandments certainly won’t guarantee that your comment spam won’t be deleted, they certainly should help you sway a site admin to let your comment spam pass through.
Especially if you follow commandment number two.